Critical Reasoning- Objectivity in Writing

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Critical Reasoning- Objectivity in Writing

Championing objectivity in writing—and, more precisely, decrying solipsism, narcissism, and self-absorption—can of course have legitimate uses. In the era of Twitter and Facebook, when we are given an infinite supply of blank fields to fill with our thoughts, we are all encouraged to think we are more interesting than we actually are. And yet there is a compelling argument to be made, more generally, that journalism’s putative standards of objectivity are sometimes wielded to check not subjectivity, per se, but unwanted subjectivities. The method of testing information – the approach to evidence- is meant to be objective, not the journalist. The key is in the discipline of the craft, not the aim..

Which of the following is the writer least likely to agree with?

  1. By not taking sides in an argument a journalist can strive to be objective, a worthwhile aspiration even if it is not perfectly achieved.
  2. Objective journalism is not one that is without bias, but one in which bias has to stand up to evidence and results.
  3. All journalism has a point of view and a set of interests it advances.
  4. Objectivity in writing is about making the story more than just about the writer.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice A

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph starts by stating that advocating objectivity in writing can have legitimate uses. It defines “objectivity” as avoiding self-absorption and self-love in writing. The paragraph then goes on to say that “journalism’s putative standards of objectivity are sometimes wielded to check not subjectivity, per se, but unwanted subjectivities”. That is, the standards of objectivity in journalism are exercised not to check subjectivity as such, but unwanted biases. It is not the journalist who is meant to be objective, but rather, his approach to evidence and testing facts and information. The key, we are told, is being objective in the discipline of the craft – the method or approach to the evidence and facts. Objectivity is not the aim of journalism.

    The main idea of the paragraph is that journalism that is objective is one where the approach – verification of information, facts and evidence- is objective. It does not imply that the writing is without bias.

    The question is which of the given statements the writer is least likely to agree with.

    Option A- By not taking sides in an argument a journalist can strive to be objective, a worthwhile aspiration even if it is not perfectly achieved.

    This implies that in order to be objective, a journalist should not take sides in an argument. However, the paragraph does not argue this. It clearly states that the objectivity in writing is not about not being subjective per se but approaching and presenting the facts without bias. The writer is not likely to agree with this statement.

    Option B- Objective journalism is not one that is without bias, but one in which bias has to stand up to evidence and results.

    This, clearly, is the main idea of the paragraph.

    Option C- All journalism has a point of view and a set of interests it advances.

    The writer argues in the paragraph that objective writing is not about absence of subjectivity. That is, every writer has a point of view. The writer is hence likely to agree with this statement.

    Option D- Objectivity in writing is about making the story more than just about the writer.

    The writer of the paragraph is likely to agree with this statement. The paragraph starts by stating that objectivity in writing is about avoiding self absorption, that is, the story should be more than just about the writer.

    So, of the given choices, the statement the writer is least likely to agree with is option A.

    Correct Answer: Choice (a)



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